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Black Rock Canyon, NM

Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
6 11 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,764 feet
Elevation Gain 2,100 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,300 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.36
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2015-02-26 imike
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:50am - 6:03pm
0 Alternative

Short but Sweet!
by imike

HAZ Patch
Among the major canyon cuts in the Alamogordo area there are also smaller, shorter drainages that do not cut all the way back into the ridges, but originate on the front of the formations. These typically cut up and back for just a few miles and at a glance would not be worth heading over to... but... should take the time. For a simple day hike these provide some of the very best outings in the area. Black Rock is one of the shorter and more interesting of these day adventures. You begin your day at the trailhead for Alamo Canyon (T104) and hike south cross country to the third major drainage pouring off the escarpment. If you're lucky you'll encounter the old BLM road (powerline road) and follow it easily across the desert terrain. At some point you will need to leave that road and drop into one of the creek bottoms. Interestinly, they flow south along the face of the mountains and will carry you over to access any of the canyons. Black Rock is the last cut before you reach the major canyon: Mule Canyon.

The climbs are similar to what you'll find in Pock Rock Canyon, perhaps a bit more difficult. The major waterfalls can be skirted around, if needed. A bit over a mile up into the canyon the drainage splits. I have not hiked the left fork, but it appears to be a nice option for a traversing loop return: Hike up the right fork, then hike across to the head of the left fork and back down and around? Additionally, you can proceed up and out of the drainage, ascending the cliffs at the base of the Steamboat formation. It is possible to loop over and down into Alamo Canyon for a longer day.

The four hours noted is just for the one way portion of the hike... plan on a full day to go up and back!

These little canyons with their numberous pour over dry waterfalls provide some delightful full body workouts and some great moments of solitude and adventure. The approach to this one takes a bit more work, but it is well worth the effort.

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2012-03-15 imike
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From White Sands Blvd in Alamogordo, head east over to Scenic, then follow Scenic all the way to it's far south end. Drive to the left around the big water tank onto Alamo Canyon Road, and follow Alamo Canyon Rd to it's end at the City Water processing tanks. Walk south across the private land... entering BLM land
    page created by imike on Mar 15 2012 3:53 pm
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